Marion Develops Emerald Ash Borer Readiness Plan

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

Tools

By Jill Kasparie

MARION, Iowa - The City of Marion has a new readiness plan to deal with a potential future invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer.

This happens just as word is getting out that the invasive insect is spreading in Iowa, killing the ash tree population. The Emerald Ash Borer or EAB has now been located in two more Iowa counties: Bremer and Wapello. That brings the total to eight counties in Iowa. The other six are Union, Allamakee, Black Hawk, Cedar, Des Moines and Jefferson.

Officials know the threat is at their doorstep, so they're doing what they can to slow it down.

That's why Marion has a plan.

"Overall, what it’s trying to do is prepare the community for the eventual arrival of the Emerald Ash Borer beetle,” said Trees Forever Field Coordinator & Marion Tree Board Member Dustin Hinrichs.

A committee presented the plan to the city council for the first time on Tuesday. The document explains the need for training some city staff to locate the species, possibly using insecticide treatment on selected trees and finding someplace to keep infected tree trunks.

"We want to find what’s called a marshalling or a holding yard that would be enough away from a population of ash trees,” Hinrichs said.

The plan said the city will take aggressive actions against the Emerald Ash Borer.

"The goal basically is, eventually, the removal of all the ash trees and then in place we would put in a planting program to replant after the trees are removed,” said Marion Parks & Recreation Director Mike Carolan.

City leaders said it would cost at least a million dollars to take down the city's estimated 1,400 public ash trees and replant them with a variety of different trees over the coming years. Twenty-five percent of the city's public trees are ash trees.

A few years ago, the city started saving for this pending problem with the 'Urban Forest Utility' where people pay about $2 on their water bill. The city will use that money to pay for any EAB needs.

The city pointed out, however, that they hope to save some trees.

"We will not remove a healthy, living ash tree. We will wait until we see those signs of stress or an identification,” Carolan said.

After months of planning and a savings strategy, the city said it's ready to battle the beetle. They're hoping their work pays off.

The city said this is the kick-off of the readiness plan. The goal is to really start looking at the public ash trees for signs of infestation in the spring.

City officials haven't found any EAB infected ash trees in Marion.

Conversation Guidelines

Be Kind

Don't use abusive, offensive, threatening, racist, vulgar or sexually-oriented language.
Don't attack someone personally. Keep it civil and be responsible.

Share Knowledge

Be truthful. Share what you know and what you are passionate about.
What more do you want to learn? Keep it simple.

Stay focused

Promote lively and healthy debate. Stay on topic. Ask questions and give feedback on the story's topic.

Report Trouble

Help us maintain a quality comment section by reporting comments that are offensive. If you see a comment that is offensive, or you feel violates our guidelines, simply click on the "x" to the far right of the comment to report it.


read the full guidelines here »

Commenting will be disabled on stories dealing with the following subject matter: Crime, sexual abuse, property fires, automobile accidents, Amber Alerts, Operation Quickfinds and suicides.

facebook twitter rss mobile google plus
email alerts you tube hooplanow pinterest instagram

What's On KCRG